NC official says she'll travel for family gathering after asking residents to stay home for Christmas

NC county official says she’s visiting family for the holidays after urging residents to stay home

Mecklenburg County, North Carolina Manager Dena Diorio defends her ‘personal decision’ after urging residents to stay home and only see people they live with.

A county official in North Carolina told residents that they should stay home for the holidays and only spend it with members of their household due to the coronavirus pandemic, only to then admit that she had no intention of doing this herself.

During a virtual press conference, Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio revealed that she would be "traveling by car to Durham, North Carolina to see some close family, small group" despite saying that people should "stay home and only be around those who you live with." This sparked confusion and prompted a question by a local reporter.

"I was confused a little bit by Dena's answer going to see her family in Durham," said WBT's Brett Jensen. "Isn't that what we're not supposed to be doing, by spending only time with people that we actually live with?"

Diorio defended her plans by explaining that the specifics of the situation led to her making the decision.

"I know who the family is, I know where they spend their time, so I feel comfortable making that trip," she said. "It's two people in a household, it's not a group. It's a very small number of people and I feel very confident about their safety."

Jensen then asked if Diorio believes everyone should be allowed to use their own discretion in making plans.

"I'm making a personal decision based on information that I have, and so that's the decision that I've made and I think everybody needs to do the same," Diorio said, despite having already recommended that everyone stay home.

This was just the latest example of a government official supporting restrictions only to choose not to abide by them. California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently apologized after being caught on camera dining at a restaurant with a large group at a time when he was calling for indoor dining to cease in a majority of the state's counties.


The Associated Press also reported that White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx traveled out of state over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend with three generations of family members from two households, as health officials urged Americans to forego holiday travel.

Birx insisted that she did not travel to Delaware to celebrate Thanksgiving, but rather to prepare her home there for a sale and her travel companions were from her immediate household.

Fox News' Morgan Phillips and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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